Common German Idioms

Common German Idioms

Idioms can be fun and a challenge to learn in a foreign language. Here are some great ones in German!

1. um den heißen Brei herumreden

Literally: to talk around the hot porridge
English equivalent: to beat around the bush

2. Da kannst du Gift drauf nehmen

Literally: You can take poison on that
English equivalent: You can bet your life on that

3. sich zum Affen machen

Literally: to make an ape of oneself
English equivalent: to make a fool of oneself

4. eine Extrawurst verlangen

Literally: to ask for an extra sausage
English Equivalent: to ask for special treatment

5. Da steppt der Bär

Literally: The bear dances there
English Equivalent: It will be a good party

6. Tomaten auf den Augen haben

Literally: to have tomatoes on one’s eyes
English Equivalent: to be oblivious to what is going around you

7. Ich verstehe nur Bahnhof

Literally: I can only understand “train station.”
English equivalent: It’s all Greek to me.



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